SFATA Members And Policy Makers Talk E-Cigarettes

e-cig“Our very first Washington, DC ‘fly-in’ was a strong success for all who attended,” says executive director of SFATA.

Representatives of 24 electronic cigarette manufacturers, distributors, and retailers traveled to the nation’s capital Nov. 4-5 to take part in The Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA)  “Day on the Hill” to advocate for the booming e-cig industry.

Throughout the two-day event, e-cig industry representatives participated in a series of nearly 50 meetings with Congressional offices regarding the e-cig industry’s legislative needs and the role that it plays in the U.S. economy.

To help provide a framework for meaningful industry standards, SFATA is drafting proposed federal legislation.

“Our very first Washington, DC ‘fly-in’ was a strong success for all who attended,” said Cynthia Cabrera, executive director, SFATA. “This was a great opportunity for lawmakers to hear directly from the electronic cigarette industry and to learn more about the negative impact inappropriate regulation could have on this nascent industry.”

“SFATA understands the need for reasonable and product specific regulation and are engaging the FDA and legislators on that issue. We want this industry—the overwhelming majority of which is made up of small businesses—to be regulated in a manner that does not limit adult access to electronic alternatives to traditional tobacco products or stifle growth and innovation,” added Cabrera.

On Tuesday morning, SFATA representatives and member companies participated in meetings with their Congressional offices. Specific areas of focus included concerns over the devastating effect that regulating personal vaporizing products, like e-cigs, as tobacco products would have on the industry.

SFATA requested that lawmakers reject the proposed deeming regulation, or in the alternative, issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (“ANPRM”) to permit the industry time to comment on the distinct differences between tobacco products and smoke-free alternatives.

SFATA is planning another day on Capitol Hill and will release details on the SFATA website in the coming weeks. SFATA’s 2nd Annual e-cig industry update will take place on Jan. 27, 2014 in Las Vegas.






  1. Bill Godshall says:

    In April, 2009 FDA’s Rita Chappelle revealed the agency’s policy to defend the agency’s unlawful ban on e-cigs and to deceive the public about e-cigs “We don’t want the public to perceive them as a safer alternative to cigarettes.”

    In July, 2009, Obama appointee (and former Waxman staffer) FDA Deputy Director Josh Sharfstein held a press conference (also in defense of the agency’s unlawful ban on e-cigs) to claim that e-cigs are addicting children, can be gateways to cigarette smoking, are target marketed to children, contain carcinogens and toxic chemical DEG, haven’t been proven as less hazardous than cigarettes, haven’t been proven to help smokers quit, and
    are marketed as smoking cessation aids.

    But during the past four years, the rapidly growing mountain of scientific and empirical evidence consistently indicates that e-cigarettes:

    – are 99% (+/-1%) less hazardous than cigarettes,

    – have never been found to create nicotine dependence in any nonsmoker (youth
    or adult),

    – have never been found to precede cigarette smoking in any smoker (youth or adult),

    – emit similar trace levels of constituents as FDA approved nicotine inhalers, posing no risks to nonusers,

    – are consumed almost exclusively (i.e. 99%) by smokers and former smokers who quit by switching to e-cigs,

    – have helped several million smokers quit and/or sharply reduce cigarette consumption,

    – have replaced (reduced consumption of) nearly 1 Billion packs of cigarettes in the US in the past five years,

    – are more effective than FDA approved nicotine gums, lozenges, patches and
    inhalers for smoking cessation and reducing cigarette consumption, and

    – pose fewer risks than FDA approved Verenicline (Champix) and Wellbutrin.

    Thankfully for public health, civil liberties, market competition and common sense, all 12 federal appeals court judges upheld Judge Richard Leon’s Janaury 15, 2010 ruling striking down FDA’s e-cig ban as unlawful

    In response, on April 25, 2011 the FDA stated its intent to regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products by imposing the “deeming” regulation and by imposing additional regulations on e-cigarettes (despite the agency’s repeated claims that it bases all of its regulatory policies on scientific evidence).

    Later in 2011, more than 5,000 people signed a Petition to the White House to “Recognize electronic cigarettes as an effective alternative to smoking and support job creation in this new industry”

    In response to the 2011 White House Petition, FDA’s then Director of the Center for Tobacco Products Lawrence Deyton responded by claiming:
    “E-cigarette may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans or otherwise harm public health – for example, if they are attractive to young people and lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death. Because clinical studies of these products have not been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consumers currently have no way of knowing what types or concentrations of potentially harmful chemical are found in these products, or how much nicotine people inhale when they use these products.”

    On December 17, 2012, more than a dozen e-cig consumers and supporters testify at a FDA public hearing about the many benefits of e-cigs, and how FDA approved drugs didn’t help them quit smoking

    In January 2013, e-cig consumers submitted more than 5,200 comments to the FDA’s Docket on Section 918 (accounting for >99% of docket submissions) informing the agency
    of the benefits of e-cigs, and urging the agency to not ban or unjustifiably regulate the products. But the FDA has only made 99 of these comments available to the public.

    In February 2013, more than 25,000 people submitted a Petition to White House to “Prevent the FDA from regulating or banning the sale and use of electronic cigarettes,
    accessories and associated liquids”, but the White House still hasn’t responded.

    In April 2013, FDA sent a Report to Congress per Section 918 of TCA that contradicted and misrepresented the evidence provided to the agency on the health benefits of smokers switching to e-cigarettes or smokefree tobacco products, and on NRT’s dismal success rate for smoking and nicotine cessation at the 12/17/12 Section 918 public hearing, in >5,200 public comments submitted to agency’s dockets, at a 2/3/11 IOM MRTP meeting, at a 8/25/11 FDA MRTP meeting, and at many FDA TPSAC meetings.

    But probably worst of all, during the past 30 months the FDA (and the news media) have refused to acknowledge that the deeming regulation (per Section 905(j) and Section 910 of the Tobacco Control Act) would once again ban ALL e-cigarettes.

    Even if the FDA exempts e-cigarettes from the prohibition clauses in Sections 905 and 910, imposing the “deeming” regulation and additional regulations on e-cigarettes would likely ban 99% of the several thousand e-cigarette products now on the market, eliminate 98% of the approximately 500 e-cig manufacturers and importers, and basically give the
    entire fledgling e-cigarette industry to Big Tobacco (and perhaps several of the largest e-cigarette companies).

    Two months ago, to lobby for the FDA “deeming” regulation, CDC Director Tom Frieden and OSH Director Tim McAfee not only lied about the scientific evidence on e-cigs (by falsely claiming nicotine damages the brain, e-cigarettes are addictive, and are a gateway to cigarette smoking), but also intentionally misrepresented their own NYTS survey findings (i.e. finding that “past-month” use of an e-cig by teens increased from 1% in 2011
    to 2% in 2012).

    In fact, however, the two most important findings by far of the NYTS survey were

    – teen smokers were >40 times more likely to have used an e-cig than nonsmokers
    (24% of smokers vs .5% of nonsmokers), and

    – teen smokers were even more likely than nonsmokers to have used an e-cig in 2012
    than in 2011.

    CDC’s intentional misrepresentation of the scientific evidence and their own survey
    data was unethical public health malpractice.

    While it is sound policy to ban e-cig sales to minors, the CDC committed public health malpractice by making false fear mongering claims about e-cigs to lobby for FDA regulations.

    The only justifiable e-cig regulation is banning their sales to minors, and more than half of the states have already banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

    Interestingly, many more states would have banned e-cig sales to minors if those proposals weren’t opposed by drug industry funded CTFK, ACS, AHA, ALA and other e-cigarette prohibitionist groups that urged FDA to unlawfully ban and seize e-cigarettes in 2009, that have lobbied state and local governments to ban the sale and use of e-cigarettes, that have made many false and misleading fear mongering claims about e-cigarettes, and that have refused to disclose that they’ve been paid off by Big Pharma to promote their products and to oppose competitive (but more effective) smokefree
    tobacco/nicotine alternatives.

    The best thing the FDA can do to further protect public health is to allow the largely free market for e-cigarettes to continue flourishing without any federal regulations.

    FDA regulation of e-cigs will protect cigarettes from market competition by far less hazardous e-cigs, will threaten the lives of vapers and smokers, and will give the e-cig industry to the three largest tobacco companies (none of which benefit public health).

    For disclosure, neither I nor Smokefree Pennsylvania has ever received funding from
    any tobacco, drug or e-cigarette company.

    Bill Godshall
    Executive Director
    Smokefree Pennsylvania
    1926 Monongahela Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Speak Your Mind